House of Burgesses
House of Burgesses
Virginia 's House of Burgesses was the first representative assembly in North America. It was created by Governor George Yeardley (c. 1587–1627) under instructions from the Virginia Company of London, which owned the colony of Virginia. In hope of attracting more immigrants to its colony, the company replaced a form of martial law used by the colony's previous governor with English common law.
The new system provided for local governments as well as a general assembly for the whole colony. Virginia was organized at first into cities, or boroughs. Monthly courts were created in 1622. Further legislation created shires in 1634 and counties in 1642. The general assembly was called the House of Burgesses. It contained representatives from each of the local boroughs.
The House of Burgesses borrowed its name from the House of Commons in England, whose representatives were called burgesses. It
functioned as a simple parliament that passed legislation for the entire colony of Virginia. The Virginia Company appointed a governor and a council as part of the legislature. The other members were elected, two by each of Virginia's ten settlements.
The first elected assembly gathered in the House of Burgesses on July 30, 1619, in Jamestown. It met for five days. There were twenty-two members present. The House of Burgesses continued to meet annually, even after the dissolution of the Virginia Company in 1624 brought the colony under direct royal control.
"House of Burgesses." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/house-burgesses
"House of Burgesses." U*X*L Encyclopedia of U.S. History. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/house-burgesses
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.